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Full text of "NightRider"

375

in hit, lock-stock-and-barr'l, and ne'er no diff'rence to a man's
sight. And the gully with colours spread out in the light, fer
as air eye can see, lak a flag. Colours like the colours in the
sky at sun, and layen thar on the ground lak the sky had
come fall-en down." Then he had paused. Mr. Munn and
Willie Proudfit's wife, and her niece and nephew, sitting there
in chairs, with Willie Proudfit lying there on the floor scarcely
visible in the darkness—they had not said anything. Down
the creek, in the patch of marshy ground there, the frogs had
been piping. "The Indians taken them colours outer the
earth," Willie Proudfit, resuming as though there had been
no silence, had said, "and paint theirselves." And he had
paused again, and there were only the night sounds. Then,
" When they dance," he had added.

" Heathen," the nephew had said, in the darkness.

" Heathen," Willie Proudfit had repeated, in his soft, slow
voice, " heathen, in a way of speaken." He had fallen silent,
brooding backward into those times. Then he had said,
"But them dancen, hit ain't only frolic and jollification."
Then: "They's a passel of things, and the Lord God, he
made ever one. In his mighty plan, and ain't a sparrow
faileth."

But some evenings he didn't speak a word.

He was a medium-sized man. His face was thinnish, and
it had lines in it, tiny lines that meshed multitudmously in
the leathery-looking skin, but it was neither an old nor a
young face. The skin was brown like an oak leaf, so brown
that against it the bluish-green eyes looked pale, and the very
blond hair looked silvery like the hair of an old man. He
wore his hair longer than any man Mr. Munn ever remem-
bered seeing, down to his neck behind and cut off square.
One Sunday morning, just after breakfast, Mr. Munn saw
him sitting on the chunk of limestone that formed the back
step, with his wife just behind him cutting his hair. When
she became aware of Mr. Munn standing there, she lifted
away from the task the heavy, clumsy-looking shears, which
made a tiny, dry sound when the blades engaged on the